Individual, Family, and Community Education ETDs


Tilia Giron

Publication Date



Constructivism maintains that instruction is more meaningful when it is relevant, social and interactive. Formative assessment has been empirically demonstrated as being an effective form of instruction and assessment for learners (Black & Wiliam, 1998a, 1998b). Since assessment orients instruction and learning, combining student culture with formative assessment could result in a powerful approach to learning. This study explored what a sample of dual language teachers, primarily grades four and five, reported about their classroom assessments, culture and student learning. This study also inquired whether these teachers said they used formative assessment. The research question was: What do dual language elementary school teachers report that they do and how do they do what they report doing in order to incorporate student culture within their classroom assessment practices? Participants reported that they accommodated student individuality within their own classroom assessment practices, which, as described, resemble actual formative assessment. These teachers said they modified assessments for student differences despite a mandate to observe scripted curricula with strict fidelity. Some teachers seemed pre-occupied with large scale testing. They disparaged the No Child Left Behind legislation for precipitating large-scale standards-based testing, heavy reliance on data, and incessant pressure to continually improve scores. Some also held in high disfavor district administrators whom they deemed responsible for reportedly requiring assessments in a language in which students had not been instructed; they, further, indicated they may have intervened on their students' behalf.


Educational tests and measurements, Education, bilingual, Constructivism (Education)


Dual Language Education of New Mexico, Center for Regional Studies

Document Type




Degree Name

Educational Psychology

Level of Degree


Department Name

Individual, Family, and Community Education

First Committee Member (Chair)

Armstrong, Jan

Second Committee Member

Trinidad Galvan, Ruth

Third Committee Member

Flowerday, Terri